There is a time for everything under the sun, Ecclesiastes says. Late July 2009 in the Basi house is a time for gifts of produce from family members—tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, corn on the cob—of wild blackberries from our own back yard—and of walking. Yes, I said it, I stand on the rooftop and I shout it at five a.m. to wake the neighbors: Julianna is WALKING! WALKING! WALKING! At long last, WALKING! Hal-le-lu-jah! Hal-le-lu-jah!
It happened very suddenly. She had been doing well in PT, but we’ve seen that before–in fact, virtually every time Gerti comes. So I didn’t take it seriously. Forward progress always happens first for the therapist, and then (much later) in real life. Gerti defines “walking” as fifteen steps. By the time they can do fifteen, she said, they usually start walking wherever they want to go, instead of crawling. But Julianna got to fifteen a couple of months ago and simply refused to move forward. She was perfectly content down on the floor, thank you very much.
But on Wednesday, it was as if she woke up and thought, “You know, I think I’ll walk today.” Distracted as I was by other kids and housecleaning that I couldn’t get around to, picking blackberries for Grandma, and so on, the significance of what I was seeing skipped over my frontal lobe. I just applauded and hugged when she walked, and didn’t think much of it.
But by Friday night I was feeling a complacent glow, and by last night it had turned into out and out glee. While Christian and I gave Alex and Nicholas their baths, our eyes were fixed on our middle child as she tottered up and down the hallway in her Wallipop diaper, giggling, clapping for herself, turning circles in place, plopping on her bottom just for the sheer joy of getting back up in the middle of the floor with nothing to hang on to. It was truly a beautiful sight to behold. This morning, while I made breakfast, she walked around and around the baby swing, entertaining Nicholas by waving her swimsuit in his face. Ah, bliss. 🙂
For two years, five months, two weeks and six days, Julianna has been a baby. As of July the 22nd, she became a toddler.
I feel your joy !!! How wonderful.
Years ago and I do mean years ago I taught exceptional chidren and reading your note brought back wonderful memories of joy I felt when one of my students made progress. Ever so slight it was worth celebrating with them.
And walking is no small thing for any child. It’s so beautiful to see how proud she is of herself. Thanks for sharing.